Written by Aaron Kelley
Our Los Angeles office recently had the opportunity to test our recommendations for those who wish to avoid mandatory emergency alerts (and test alerts) within their mobile devices, and the results were surprising. On Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 at 11:20 Pacific, three of our devices alerted, but one did not.
There has been many conspiracy theories about how the recent test alert was an attempt by the government to collect data about our locations, but we do not buy into that. We just wanted to know if our settings worked. For our test, we full reset four mobile devices. Two were a Pixel 6A with GrapheneOS default settings. The other two were an Apple iPhone 14 with default settings. All four devices possessed eSIM service from Mint with cellular service from T-Mobile. All four were next to each other with a strong signal. The following settings represent the modifications to each GrapheneOS device. The device on the left had full alerts allowed while the one on the right had everything disabled.
The iPhones were similar. The one on the left had everything turned on while the one of the right had all turned off.
The time finally came. The GrapheneOS and iPhone devices with alerts enabled both rang loud with the test notification as expected. The GrapheneOS device with alerts disabled stayed silent with no notifications as hoped. The surprise was the iPhone which had all alerts disabled. It also blared a loud tone and presented the test message, even though we informed it not to display any alerts.
This is another reason we prefer un-Googled devices such as GrapheneOS over any Apple or Google stock device. They do what you tell them to do.